This is totally random, and won’t be a part of Infinity:Battlescape. It’s just something that I thought of while reading the recent post about using joysticks to control ships.
I’ve long said that ships should be spheres. There is no preferred orientation in combat when ships have such powerful drives, so combat really boils down to just keeping your head on a swivel to keep track of what’s going on around you and then thrusting as needed. Spherical ships would be ideal for that.
Consider sitting in a spherical ship. You’re either watching from the center looking out from a spherical room with screens everywhere or you’re watching from the outside, looking ‘over the shoulder’ of the sphere. You can use the mouse to look in any direction, without restriction, as fast as you care to mess with your view angle.
At any time, your thrusters fire orthogonally to your camera orientation. So if you want to fly straight at or away from something, you look at it and thrust. If you want to orbit something, you look at it and use your side thrusters. Similarly for up and down thrusters, or firing sets of thrusters. The orientation of the ship never changes, only the way your commands are translated to thrusters.
Weapons would be mounted to the surface of the sphere, but travel anywhere across the surface that you want. So you can cluster all your weapons on the camera side, form them into a ring around the camera direction, uniformly scatter them across the surface of the ship, or some mix, depending on the calibers involved. Imagine BB-8 from Star Wars, but with the body stationary and multiple heads wandering all over the surface.
The basics of this could be done with a Battlescape ship, of course, by just having the ships physically turn as fast as you care to rotate your camera. Unfortunately, that’s not particularly consistent with the fiction of those ships.
Interestingly, spherical ships would be pretty good for high speeds in atmospheres. High drag and low heating works well with super-powerful engines.
Anyway, this is something that appeals to me, and I throw it out there just so you guys have heard the idea. Perhaps it’ll appeal in a decade or so.